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  • Snakebite – The 1978 Debut EP from Whitesnake!

    Original cover art of the EP.
    Original cover art of the EP.

     

     

    David Coverdale is one of rock’s most legendary vocalists, and continues to entertain audiences all over the world as the frontman of Whitesnake. But Coverdale’s career actually started long ago, prior to Whitesnake’s 1980s breakthrough. Following three studio albums fronting the legendary Deep Purple, Coverdale released two solo records which helped pave the way towards the next phase of his career; the one that would turn him into a rock legend.

    Although the Trouble LP was Whitesnake’s official full length debut album, was preceded by the Snakebite EP. Containing a mere four tracks, it was a major sign of things to come for the fledgling rock vocalist, and many fans continue to hail these songs as classics. The EP was initially released in its original four-track incarnation, with later releases adding four tracks from one of Coverdale’s prior solo albums to make it a full LP of sorts. In more recent years, these songs have been reissued as bonus tracks on remastered CDs of the Trouble LP. Whatever way you get your hands on these songs, they are interesting to explore if you are a fan of David Coverdale’s music.

    All four tracks on Snakebite are excellent in their own way, serving as something as a bridge between Coverdale’s Deep Purple and solo album era, and the classic 1980s Whitesnake period that everyone knows and remembers him for. Of the tracks here, only one became a major hit for the band, but all four are essential listening for anyone that calls themselves a Whitesnake fan.

     

    Reissued version of the EP, with Coverdale solo tracks added as a bonus.
    Reissued version of the EP, with Coverdale solo tracks added as a bonus.

     

    For this EP, Coverdale is joined by guitarist Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden, bassist Neil Murray, and drummer Dave Dowle. Whitesnake’s lineup, even from the beginning, would be a constantly changing affair, but this is where it all started, and one of the best lineups the band ever had, as they demonstrate beautifully for the all-too-brief duration of this release.

    The EP is kicked off with “Come On.” This is just a straightforward classic rocker that gets things started in fine form; that this song did not become a bigger hit for Whitesnake/Coverdale is absolutely criminal. Track number two, “Bloody Mary,” is a fun, piano-heavy bluesy number that represents a change of pace from the opening track, but is still uniquely Whitesnake/Coverdale. It is definitely a fun track to listen to. Of course, the big hit to emerge from the EP was the cover of Bobby Bland’s “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City.” This is a slow, melodic blues ballad that could arguably be considered the first Whitesnake hit. This is Coverdale and company at their absolute finest, and it is the only track from this EP the band still revisits in their live concerts. The EP closes out with the bluesy guitar riffs of “Steal Away,” with serves as the perfect conclusion to it all.

    Regardless of how you get your hands on these four tracks that were Whitesnake’s first release, they are essential listening for any fan. Your best bet for getting them in this day and age is to buy the Trouble remaster, which has added them as bonus tracks. Whitesnake is a band with a rich history going back well before their 80s heyday, and this is where it all began. Do not overlook the early years!

     

     

     



  • Girlschool – New Wave of British Heavy Metal Greats Rock Vegas!

    Girlschool played Vamp'd on Thursday, March 21, 2015.
    Girlschool played Vamp’d on Thursday, March 21, 2015.

     

     

    I was very much looking forward to seeing Girlschool for the first time. Usually, I tend to skip opening acts unknown to me these days if the headliner is playing Vamp’d. I’m glad that I didn’t this time as all three openers were very good, to varying degrees. First up was a three-piece act from Quebec called Velvet Black. They played a handful of groovin’, bluesy, heavy and straight-ahead songs on which the bassist handled the lead vocals, and at times reminded me of Derek Davis (Babylon A.D.). Nice way to start the festivities.

     

    GS2

     

    Next up was Old James, yet another act hailing from the same city in the Great White North. Getting the growing audience’s attention with a teaser intro of Rush’s legendary instrumental “YYZ,” they certainly got mine, as they proved that they weren’t slouches on their instruments in the least. This was a great gimmick to have the crowd’s attention from the get-go as to what their originals would sound like. As they plowed through one song after another, their formidable lead singer reminded me of Sebastian Bach in the upper register but with a Southern rock style. He also tackled the second six string on some songs, not letting his twice-failing guitar strap get in the way. They seemed to win the crowd over as they had their first time here this year; the band had opened for Uli Jon Roth at Vamp’d back in January. The ending of their opening song closed out the set in fine fashion.

     

    Girlschool vocalist Kim McAuliffe.
    Girlschool vocalist Kim McAuliffe.

     

    Crucified Barbara. Their huge banner should’ve been the first clue that these four young ladies were about to leave an impression. An indelible sonic one seared into the recesses of your brain. From the opening salvo of their first number to their final tune of the night, I’m fairly certain that most patrons were concerned about how the headliner would follow this rather polished Swedish metal juggernaut. They’ve been around in one lineup or another since 1998, and it shows. Taking no prisoners and adding new fans live on a nightly basis  with their conviction, stellar lead vocals, instrumental prowess, and catchy songs dripping with a fresh yet classic metal edge, this a band to watch, as they proudly carry the torch for the genre spearheaded by bands such as Priest and Maiden. They have four full length LPs which should be picked up ASAP.

     

    Girlschool vocalist Kim McAuliffe and lead guitarist Jackie "Jax" Chambers.
    Girlschool vocalist Kim McAuliffe and lead guitarist Jackie “Jax” Chambers.

     

    Girlschool. One of the bands whose first videos I saw the first few hours I became entranced by the then-new and groundbreaking MTV. For some reason, I never did catch them anywhere in Detroit on their early tours. Bummer. Anyway, I understand, this was their first tour in 25 years on the other side of the pond. The second date of their “Guilty As Sin” tour, Vamp’d was primed for a lethal dose of the ladies who were an integral part of the NWOBHM. From the get-go, hitting the faithful with “Demolition Boys,” they plowed through 15 songs in fine form.

     

    Girlschool bassist Enid Williams.
    Girlschool bassist Enid Williams.

     

    Although former lead guitarist Kelly Johnson (2007 R.I.P.) was missed, the rest of the original lineup was rounded out by a more than competent Jackie Chambers. Peppering their hard-hitting set of classics with a few new numbers, Motorhead’s old compatriots showed us that time hasn’t mellowed their approach. “The Hunter,” “Screaming Blue Murder,” “Hit and Run,” and “Race With the Devil” were all represented with a vengeance. “Tush”, their take on ZZ Top’s chestnut, would’ve been nice to hear, but it’s always wise to leave ’em wanting more. All in all, this fan from way back was impressed.

     

    GS5

     

    The ladies even graciously hung out after to mingle with the patrons who were hoping to meet them after all of this time. A class act all around. Be there or be square next time, if you missed it. Hopefully it won’t take another quarter century. 😉

     

     

     

    All photos © Dillon Radley/ZRock’R Magazine

    Editor’s Note:  The ZRock’R Magazine LIVE! ” Metal Grrrl Power” show on lvrocks.com with in studio guests Kim McAuliffe of Girlschool and Mia and Nicki from Crucified Barbara – along with a lot of great music from the women who rock you- will be available as a podcast HERE ( http://www.lvrocksradio.com/category/more-talk-music-shows/zrockr-live/ ) Just look for the 05/21/2015 show!



  • Human Era – Trixter’s Latest Studio Record Shows They are Still One in a Million!

    Human Era is Trixter's latest studio album.
    Human Era is Trixter’s latest studio album.

     

     

    Paramus, New Jersey’s Trixter released their debut album in 1990, which showed the world a solid mixture of pop and rock, and scored the fledgling band some minor hits. The group looked like one that would go places, but like so many, the coming of grunge and alternative rock resulted in much of their output being ignored by the music industry and the public at large. This has not stopped the band; they continue to persevere and put out new releases, maintaining a loyal fanbase all around the world.

    For being a band that many rejected as a “flash in the pan” 25 years ago, the boys from Trixter remain surprisingly active, both in the studio and on the stage! I will be the first to admit that while the band’s initial studio output back in the day was nothing to scoff at, it was not exactly anything revolutionary either. The group completely turned things around for me (and many listeners!) a few years ago with New Audio Machine, a studio album that took on a heavier, more stripped down sound. Hands down, New Audio Machine was my favorite thing Trixter ever recorded, and resulted in me giving the band another look and a second chance. Here we are a few years later, and Trixter has released Human Era, another new studio album. Does this one keep their hot streak alive?

    With Trixter having set the expectations high with the release of their previous album, Human Era is definitely an album that this fan was all the more eager to hear. Having given the new record a listen several times now, I can safely say that it does not top New Audio Machine, but despite a few pratfalls here and there, it is a respectable new effort from the band that should satisfy the fans.

    One thing about many Trixter albums, and something that is certainly true of Human Era, is that the band does not really have their own unique sound, but rather takes the best elements from the sounds of other bands, combining them to create something interesting. Many of the rockers here have a Bon Jovi-esque sound to them, combining light and heavy sounds alike, and doing so surprisingly well. The group even manages to slow things down and show some musical maturity in a few places as well. Most of the tracks on the record are impressive, though a few of the slower and lighter numbers do come dangerously close to modern pop territory at times. Fortunately, this is rare and will likely not impact your positive opinion of the record if you are a fan.

    Overall, Trixter has released a solid new record in the form of Human Era; seeing this band make a comeback a few years ago and continue to go strong has been a great experience, and this fan is hoping that they will be back on the stage and in the studio for years to come. Human Era garners a solid recommendation; no fan of the band should be disappointed.

     

     



  • IMAGINE ~ A Night of Music to Save the Music In Our Schools

    The Imagine Foundation Show last year with Count's 77
    The Imagine Foundation Show last year at Vamp’d with Count’s 77

     

    ~IMAGINE~

    Each year Imagine produces a musical event benefiting the music departments in the various Clark County School District schools.  Every year a different school is chosen to be the recipient and this year it will be Chaparral High School ‘s turn.  Lisa Chapman-Goulston founded the non-profit organization to reinforce the music departments of the public schools in the Las Vegas Valley.  Having realized the need of furtherance of funding due to budget cuts or lack of funding completely, Lisa became proactive in her belief of keeping these programs alive and available to children throughout the city.  Music education helps build skills such as working in teams, communication, self-esteem, creative thinking, imagination, discipline and study skills.  Through the study of music and by focusing on education in music, the goal for Imagine is to give assistance to those programs.   The annual fundraiser conveys the heartfelt generosity of the community as local talent, as well as talent from afar, joins in performing and donating their time, entertainment and even some gently used instruments as well as monetary donations.  *Imagine is a 501 © (3) charity which allows for federal tax exemption, enabling them to obtain more substantial donations for the children of Las Vegas.

     

    Some of the kids from Valley High School that Imagine Foundation helped out this past year.
    Some of the kids from Valley High School’s Music Education Program that Imagine Foundation helped out this past year.

     

    Once again, Count’s Vamp’d, owned by Danny and Korie Koker, will host a night of musical mastery with the Imagine Concert.  Taking the Vamp’d stage this year will include Jarvis Brown from Los Angeles; local artists, Sonic Affair;  Ragdoll, venturing  some 9,500 miles from Perth, Western Australia and headlining is Count’s 77.  Danny “The Count” Koker leads his 77 entourage and can also be seen on the History Channel shows “Counting Cars” and “Pawn Stars”.  Rumor has it of surprise musical guests along with raffles and prizes donated from Count’s Vamp’d, The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Fender Guitars, Continuum Vegas, and ICJUK as well as other private individuals and organizations. Please join Imagine this Saturday, May 30 at Count’s Vamp’d at 8:00 p.m.  A minimal $5 donation will give a full night of rock and roll, raffles and prizes.  Enjoy the photo collections from past events courtesy of Lisa Goulston.

     

    The Horn Section from the Clark High School band here in Vegas onstage at the Imagine show at Vamp'd last year.
    The Horn Section from the Clark High School band here in Vegas onstage at the Imagine show at Vamp’d last year.

     

    ~IMAGINE ~

    John Lennon’s best selling single of his solo career with lyrics which encourage us to ‘imagine’ a world at peace without the barriers of borders or the divisiveness of religions and nationalities….and music was the way John spoke his greatest words.

     ‘You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.  I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one’  

    ~ John Lennon ~

     


    Note from Lisa Chapman-Goulston:  Our hope is to have another magical year of music, love and community in the spirit of Imagine … for our kids.

     

    IMAGINE....
    IMAGINE….

     

    For more information on Imagine, please contact:

    Lisa Chapman-Goulston
    Founder & President
    Imagine Foundation
    Keeping Music Alive For Generations To Come!
    702-306-2233

    [email protected]

    www.imagine4kids.org

    *The most common type of tax-exempt nonprofit organization falls under category 501(c)(3), whereby a nonprofit organization is exempt from federal income tax if its activities have the following purposes: charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering amateur sports , etc.

     

    PHOTO CREDIT:  Photos Courtesy of  and © Imagine Foundation- all rights reserved



  • Princess Leia – Another Star Wars Marvel Comic in a Galaxy Far, Far Away!

    Star Wars: Princess Leia is the latest in the ongoing line of Marvel Star Wars comics that have been released since Marvel regained the Star Wars comics rights from Dark Horse Comics.
    Star Wars: Princess Leia is the latest in the ongoing line of Marvel Star Wars comics that have been released since Marvel regained the Star Wars comics rights from Dark Horse Comics.

     

     

    The Star Wars franchise is more popular today than it has never been, no doubt spurred on by the relaunch of the Expanded Universe, and a forthcoming feature film this December. It has also been a landmark time for Star Wars in comic book form; Marvel Comics has regained the rights from Dark Horse Comics to create new Star Wars comic stories.

    To date, since regaining the comic rights, Marvel has put out a number of Star Wars comic lines which are still ongoing – Star Wars (AKA Skywalker Strikes), Darth Vader, Kanan: The Last Padawan, and Princess Leia. A Lando Calrissian series is slated for release starting this summer as well.

    All of the comic released thus far with the exception of Kanan are set in the time period between Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (AKA the original 1977 film) and Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Princess Leia is actually set immediately following A New Hope, so it takes place prior to the other two concurrent series. Against the wishes of her superiors and teaming up with a female Rebel pilot, Princess Leia embarks on a mission across the galaxy to try to rescue survivors of the destruction of her home planet of Alderaan. Of course, in a galaxy far, far away, things rarely go as planned, and unexpected complications and Imperial obstacles get in the way of the Princess’ mission.

    After having read the first three issues (the series is supposed to last for five issues total) I am torn on my feelings regarding the Princess Leia series. The Skywalker Strikes series succeeds because it gives Luke depth and character development between the two movies, and does the same for other characters as well. The same is true of the Darth Vader series; we see what happens to the eponymous villain there between the two movies and get an idea of his overall plots and motives. Leia’s comic should hold the same dramatic weight and development, but sadly, despite the attempts at development and traveling to exotic locales, this particular series just falls flat by comparison.

     

    The comic series follows Leia as the travels the galaxy in search of refugees who survived the destruction of her home planet of Alderaan.
    The comic series follows Leia as the travels the galaxy in search of refugees who survived the destruction of her home planet of Alderaan.

     

    This is a tough review to write, because it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what is wrong with the series. The other series instantly drew me in and I became a fan quickly. Sadly, the Princess Leia series simply did not have the same effect on me. Leia’s behavior is a sharp contrast to the end of A New Hope; she is suddenly frantic and concerned out of nowhere about her planet being destroyed, so much so that she would jeopardize her own safety and that of the Rebellion to go out and find survivors? The other comics introduce a few new characters but rightfully keep them to a minimum; the Evaan character introduced here, however, becomes a main character and is just bland and uninteresting. There are a few exciting and suspenseful scenes here and there, but Princess Leia simply cannot hold a candle to the other Star Wars Marvel comic series. A shame, considering the character was one of the best in the classic trilogy of films.

    In the end, it is hard to say whether or not to recommend the Princess Leia series. It does not live up to the other Marvel Star Wars stories, though is not necessarily a total loss. The series is worth checking out, but do not over-expect. The other stories are superior and deserve your attention before you check out this one.

     

     

    Leia's adventures in these new comics feature old and new faces alike.
    Leia’s adventures in these new comics feature old and new faces alike.